How Cities Use Regulation for Innovation: The Case of Uber, Lyft and Sidecar in San Francisco

How do government actors facilitate or hinder private innovation in urban mobility, and how does local context mediate this relationship? In this paper the authors examine the regulatory response to on-demand ride services—or “ridesourcing”—through a case study of San Francisco, CA. The entry of Lyft, Sidecar, and UberX in San Francisco in 2012 raised serious questions about the legality of ridesourcing, and sparked significant conflict within regulatory agencies. After sustained debate, regulators decided to welcome the services provided by new companies and crafted a new regulatory framework that legalized the provision of for-profit, on-demand ride services using personal vehicles. The authors ask, given strong arguments on each side, what motivated public officials in each city to facilitate, rather than hinder, the new services? How did they achieve regulatory reform?


  • English

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  • Accession Number: 01639783
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Files: TRIS
  • Created Date: Jun 28 2017 2:40PM